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Australia impatient for home champion at Melbourne Park

Australia impatient for home champion at Melbourne Park

Zverev, 20, has been touted as the "next big thing" for some years and is coming off five titles last season, yet he has never made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

"I personally didn't know what's going to happen".

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.Julian Finney/Getty Images.

"I'll be over the moon if I can play, which I'm planning to".

Since 2010, only Wawrinka and Cilic outside the quarter of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have emerged victorious in 28 finals.

Third-seeded Muguruza is in a hard quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, and U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys.

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, competing at the Australian Open for the first rime since 2014 due to a series of career-threatening wrist injuries, will compete in one of the most intriguing match-ups in the first round when he faces American prospect Frances Tiafoe.

Both Djokovic and Wawrinka have not played a competitive match since Wimbledon of a year ago and have spent the last six months in recovery.

The Serb, himself struggling with an elbow injury that ended his 2017 season at Wimbledon, admitted he is not yet fully fit and does not see himself as a top contender when the tournament begins on Monday.

Meanwhile, 2017 Australian Open champion Serena Williams opted out of the competition, saying that her preparations had fallen just short of what she needed to be competitive after giving birth in September.

"It was a good test for me and good practice", the 16-times grand slam victor told reporters after his 6-4 7-5 loss in which he appeared to be moving freely, if not a little rusty in his shotmaking.

Venus Williams says Serena is "here in spirit" supporting her in Australia, where she's hopeful of ending an nearly decade-long Grand Slam title drought.

Novak Djokovic has passed his long-awaited return to the court with flying colours declaring he "feels great" ahead of next week's Australian Open.

"There's no easy way to get to the top", Sharapova told the crowd at Margaret Court Arena before the draw. Referring to the final set of the thriller, which he won 6-3, he said: "It was an awesome final, an unbelievable moment for me in my life and it's great to be back here", as quoted by the Express.

"The drive, I still have it. I don't think there's anybody else that you could say is a favourite other than Roger at the moment".

Djokovic continued: "I'm still not 100 per cent".

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